There are two different kinds of compromises in decision making. One compromise results in a decision that gets you towards the solution. The other compromise results in a decision that is worse than where you started from.
In The Essential Drucker: The Best of Sixty Years of Peter Drucker’s Essential Writings on Management, Peter Drucker illustrates these two distinct compromise types.
Key Take Aways
Here are my key take aways:
- Half a loaf is better than no bread.
- Half a baby is worse than none.
I think metaphors are great for illustrating points. I think these metaphors are easy to relate to and will come in handy at work.
Half a Baby is Worse Than None
Go for half a loaf, and a whole baby. Drucker writes:
“For there are two different kinds of compromise. One kind is expressed in the old proverb, Half a loaf is better than no bread. The other kind is expressed in the story of the judgment of Solomon, which was clearly based on the realization that half a baby is worse than no baby at all. In the first instance, the boundary conditions are still satisfied. The purpose of bread is to provide food, and half a loaf is still food. Half a baby, however does not satisfy the boundary conditions. For half a baby is not half of a living and growing child. It is a corpse in two pieces.”